CARLINVILLE, IL (KTVI) - A natural gas explosion leveled a single family home in Carlinville, IL Wednesday morning. The Kinney Construction firm from Raymond, IL was installing a new water main in the 400 block of N. West St. when a worker struck the gas line while digging.
AMEREN Illinois, which provides natural gas service in the area, was called to the scene, but before a crew could turn off the gas the home blew up.
Two residents of the house sustained non-life threatening injuries according to the Illinois State Police. One was inside the building and the other near it when the explosion occurred at 10:42 A.M.
The accident happened just a block south of the Carlinville City Hall.
The Illinois State Fire Marshal is investigating the accident with assistance from ATF. At least 14 homes along a block and a half were evacuated.
Carl Stark was just leaving his job at a Hardee’s around the corner when he heard the explosion and saw debris flying up in the air near his own home. “I took off running to the house and then I couldn’t find my old lady, I couldn’t find my kids but they got out and they got safe,” he said.
His wife, Rebekah Hoots was in a room facing the explosion. “I was in the bedroom and the glass just came flying, a lot of glass, whole window blew glass at me. I was able to jump back,” she said. Her three children were also at home. None of them were injured.
Flames from the damaged house melted sections of siding on her home, but firefighters from Carlinville and Girard were able to save the property.
Gene Kline, who lives across the street, was standing in his kitchen.
“I felt the concussion and I went outside and looked and the house was gone. “ Kline said several gas lines were broken by the contractor Monday and replaced. He is concerned.
“I don’t know if I’ll sleep tonight. All these gas mains are all the same age and if they break by bumping them, ours could go in the middle of the night
Carlinville Mayor Deanna DeMuzio praised her town’s first responders for their acting quickly to evacuate nearby residents.
As of 7 P.M. Wednesday the State Fire Marshal had not cleared the evacuated area for residents to return. Some anticipated they would be out of their homes for the night. The Red Cross said it was providing temporary shelter for the two families who lived on either side of the explosion.